CHICAGO (WLS) -- A West Lawn homeowner is lucky to be alive after catalytic converter thieves riddled his home with bullets when he caught them in the act.
The homeowner said he heard something outside his window around 3:30 a.m. Thursday. The homeowner did not want to be identified. He said he awoke to the sounds of thieves trying to steal catalytic converters from cars parked outside his home near 69th Place and South Lawndale.
"And then I opened the window, and I asked him 'What are you doing?'" the homeowner said.
In an interview with Univision, he said he opened his bedroom window and shouted to the thieves, as heard on a neighbor's security video which was shared with ABC7.
"Hey!" you can hear him yell on the video. "What are you doing!"
Seconds later there is a barrage of gunfire. The man's home was blasted with 17 gunshots, bullets flying into his bedroom and living room.
"I hurried over to the side of bed to protect myself, and thank god I wasn't hit," the homeowner said.
The victim said it was like a movie: dodging bullets, he jumped to the side of his bed and out of the line of fire.
"It's better to take the things than to risk your life," he said.
His sister, brother and two nephews who also live with him were also unharmed.
Ald. Silvana Tabares, who represents the West Lawn neighborhood, said the incident shows how desperately more police officers are needed in Chicago neighborhoods.
"What we find is that these thieves are armed and dangerous and they are not hesitating to shoot," she said. "They are more emboldened than ever before and what we find is that they often manipulate their guns to fire, to fire around more quickly, which is making a very dangerous situation even more deadly."
People in the neighborhood said this is not the first time someone has stolen the catalytic converters from their cars.
Chicago police are investigating the thefts and the shooting. No one is currently in custody.